One Bad Pixel
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Setting up MS Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 in Linux

I recently fought with my Intellimouse Explorer missing the functionality of the side buttons (thumb buttons) in Linux. I found dozens of links of people discussing this, but the answer ended up being a compilation of all of the discussions (and some personal trial and error) so I wanted to publish how I made it work. This was done using CentOS 5.1, but should be similar for any X 7+ setup (Fedora, Ubuntu, Gentoo, Red Hat, etc.).

This setup should get your right, left, and middle buttons working, scroll wheel vertical working, and your front and back side buttons working. I didn’t spend much time fiddling with the horizontal wheel functionality, but Im sure its probably a matter of setting the xorg.conf to say the mouse has 11 buttons and doing xmodmap to map 10 and 11, as below.

You have to manually edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, as such…
Find the section like this…
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"

And make it look like this…
Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse0"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "ExplorerPS/2"
Option "Device" "/dev/input/mice"
Option "Emulate3Buttons" "no"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5 6 7"
Option "Buttons" "9"

Then, restart X Windows (either reboot, or push ctrl-alt-backspace.

Execute the following to test the new button mapping (which should be identical to windows default)
xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 6 7"
* You can play with the order of the buttons to remap them to your liking, but this example will match windows.

Last, make a /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/ file to map the buttons to the same as windows, every time X starts…
xmodmap -e "pointer = 1 2 3 4 5 8 9 6 7"

Make the /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/ as executable.
chmod a+x /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/


2 Responses for “Setting up MS Intellimouse Explorer 2.0 in Linux”

  1. empement Says:

    Thanks mate, it’s working like a charm. Unfortunately as you stated the horizontal scroll is not working but i was most interested in making the thumb buttons work.
    The only change i made was adding in my ~/.kde/Autostart/ directory.

  2. a Says:

    Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is fantastic, let alone the content!

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